The city was founded in the 10th century and named after Thor, the god of thunder and lightning in Norse mythology. In the early history of the Faroes, Tórshavn became the political centre of the Faroes, and it still is today. The first settlers established their own parliament called "ting" around 800. The main ting was established on Tinganes in Tórshavn and local tings were established in different parts of the islands. Tinganes drew people to trade, to attend court meetings, etc. In 2017, the city had a population of around 13,000, with about 20,000 in the metro area.
For most visitors Tórshavn will be the point of entry to the Faroe Islands. Practically everything in that article's Get in section also applies to Tórshavn.
The Faroe Islands are served by Vága airport on the neighboring island Vágar. Atlantic Airways flies there on a regular basis from Copenhagen and operates flights from other Scandinavian and Western European cities as well. There is a bus connection to Tórshavn from the airport.
Smyril Line sails from Hirtshals in Denmark and Seyðisfjörður on Iceland to Tórshavn. If you are travelling with a car from Iceland to Denmark or vice versa, it is in principle possible to take off your car during the several hours long stopover in Tórshavn for a little island ride. It is however necessary to consider this option in advance when getting your car on board and have it parked in the correct queue.
You can take the car with you on the ferry mentioned above. It is also possible to rent a car at the airport.
From elsewhere on the Faroe Islands.
City buses operate 4 routes which reach most of the city. All city buses are free to ride. They run every 30 minutes from the city centre on weekdays, hourly on Sunday and Saturday and weekday evenings. There is no bus service during Saturday or Sunday evenings. 
The National Historical Museum and the Outdoor Museum are both in the northern suburb Hoyvik, and are covered by a single ticket. Both are worth seeing.
- 1 Faroese Løgtingið (The Faronese parliament), Tinghúsvegur 1-3, ☎ . An impressive dark red structure with a green roof located on the water front. The parliament has been meeting at this site since 900 AD.
- 2 Tórshavn Cathedral (Dómkirkjan, Havnar Kirkja). An attractive white building with clock tower, built in 1788.
- 3 The Nordic House, ☎ . M-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 14:00-17:00. The main cultural institution on the islands. Events and exhibitions. Has a cafe.
- 4 The Historical Museum, Søvn Landsins Kúrdalsvegur 15, Hoyvík (In Faroese National Heritage, a little north of Tórshavn), ☎ . M-F 09:00-15:00. Well worth a visit. 30 kr.
- 5 National Gallery of the Faroe Islands (Listasavn Føroya), Gundadalsvegur 9, ☎ . Tu-Su 13:00-16:00. 2600 works of art. 65 kr.
- Faroese Music Gallery. See, feel and hear Faroese music in the newest and most popular tourist attraction. Free live concerts Mondays to Fridays and on special occasions (see website for program) from 14 June to 13 August and free coffee.
There are many shops in Tórshavn, especially in the centre and in the shopping mall SMS.
- 1 Brasserie Hvonn, Hotel Tórshavn, Tórsgøta 4, ☎ . Central location and non-smoking inside, American-style menu and salad bar.
- 2 Gras, Oyggjarvegur 45 (in hotel Føroyar), ☎ . 07:00-21:30. On a hill above Tórshavn with great views (if there is no fog), non smoking.
- 3 Burger King, SMS Shopping Center, ☎ . A burger restaurant.
- 4 Sunset Boulevard, SMS Shopping Center (in the SMS Shopping Mall), ☎ . A Danish chain of sandwich restaurants.
- Baresso Coffee, SMS Shopping Center, ☎ . A Danish chain of cafés.
- MIMIR, Varðagøta 2 (There's no sign but it's pretty obvious that it's a pub from the outside.), ☎ , . An eclectic pub if there ever was one. This signless watering hole attracts a mixed, friendly crowd and has reasonably priced (35 kr) beers on tap. On the bottom floor there are pool tables.
- 1 [dead link] Tórshavn Camping, Yviri við Strond (about 1 km from the harbor. Bear to the right as you exit and follow the seaside (Yviri við Strond) - it's on the right.), ☎ . Pretty low-frills campsite for both tents and trailers. There is a spartan kitchen, (free) hot showers plus coin-operated laundry facilities. A convenient walk to town and not too far from a large supermarket further up the road to the northwest. 70 DKK/tent.
Prices vary slightly -- 250-300 kr per night/person for adults.
- 2 [dead link] Kerjalon - Hostel, Oyggjarvegur 49, ✉ email@example.com.
- 3 Guesthouse undir Fjalli, ☎ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4 [dead link] Bládýpi, Dr Jakobsensgøta 14-16, ✉ email@example.com.
- 5 Hotel Streym, Yviri við Strond 19, ☎ .
- 6 Hotel Føroyar, Oyggjarvegur 45, ☎ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. There is an excellent view over Tórshavn.
- 7 Hotel Hafnia, Áarvegur 4-10, ✉ email@example.com. In the town centre.
- 8 Hotel Tórshavn, Tórsgøta 4, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Down by the harbour.